Tequila is one of the fastest-growing spirits in the U.S., with America consuming even more than they do in its homeland of Mexico. The biggest growth is in the premium and super-premium categories, as drinkers discover the pleasure of sipping rather than slamming good tequila. Tequila is in fact a type of mezcal, but one that has a specific “domain of origin” status and which must be made from a single species of agave, the blue agave. Tequila must be made in certain designated areas in Mexico, the biggest being the state of Jalisco, where the town of Tequila is located. Rack “tequila” must contain at least 51% blue agave sugars, and the remainder can be just about anything, including corn syrup. However, quality tequila will state on the bottle that it is made from 100% blue agave. Anything less than this (think Cuervo Gold) is called a mixto. Within Mexico, tequila can be bottled at anything from 62 to 110 proof, but within the U.S. it must be at least 80 proof. Blanco (silver or white) tequila is sold unaged, reposado tequila must be aged at least two months in white oak barrels, and añejo (aged) tequila are aged for twelve months minimum. Finally, extra añejo must be aged for at least three years. A new variety of tequila, generally called cristalino, is aged tequila that has been filtered to remove color, giving it the appearance of a blanco but the flavor of an añejo.

Top Tequila Posts:

Understanding the Different Styles of Tequila
A Visit to Casa Herradura
A Visit to the Don Julio Tequila Distillery

Review: Peloton de la Muerte Mezcal – Criollo and Pechuga

By Christopher Null | January 1, 2021 |

Peloton de la Muerte (literally “death squad”) is a mezcal brand that’s offered a single Espadin-based expression for about three years. We haven’t reviewed it, but we recently received samples of Peloton’s two new line extensions, Criollo and a vegan Pechuga. Both mezcals are produced with wild agave grown in the Mexican state of Guerrero.…

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A bottle of Desert Door Back Burn Sotol from Teaxas

Review: Desert Door Back Burn Texas Sotol

By Mike Gerrard | December 30, 2020 |

Sotol is typically thought of as a Mexican spirit, if it’s thought of at all, but Desert Door makes the only U.S. sotol on the market, distilled from Desert Spoon plants that grow in its native Texas. Launching with a straight blanco version, which was followed by an oak-aged expression, the company has now embarked…

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Review: Juan Lobo Tequila Reposado

By Christopher Null | December 23, 2020 |

I don’t know who country singer Jon Wolfe is, but I’m impressed by his new tequila, Juan Lobo, at least the reposado expression of it, which we recently received for review. While the name of the tequila doesn’t exactly connote quality, it turns out that “Juan Lobo” is Wolfe’s alter-ego/nickname, so I suppose it will…

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Review: El Tequileno Blanco

By Christopher Null | December 15, 2020 |

El Tequileno is an affordable brand founded by Don Jorge Salles Cuervo in 1959 that bills itself as “Mexico’s best-kept secret.” It’s made from blue agave from Los Altos de Jalisco (the Highlands) and volcanic spring water from El Volcan de Tequila. Unusually, this blanco (sometimes billed as Platinum on the label) is rested for…

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Review: Teremana Tequila – Blanco and Reposado

By Christopher Null | November 30, 2020 |

2020 has seen a raft of celebrity-branded wines and spirits, but none is arguably bigger than Teremana, which is backed by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Teremana is a pot-distilled spirit made with 100% Highlands agave. It’s currently available in blanco and reposado expressions; no anejo at this time. We received both for review. Let’s drink…

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Review: Cincoro Tequila Anejo

By Christopher Null | November 29, 2020 |

We told you the story of Michael Jordan’s (and others’) Cincoro Tequila a few months ago — but at the time we only reviewed the blanco and reposado expressions. Now we’ve got the anejo, which we’re ready to dig in to. Aged 24 to 28 months in Kentucky bourbon barrels. The bottle is still a…

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Drinkhacker’s 2020 Holiday Gift Guide – Best Alcohol/Spirits for Christmas

By Christopher Null | November 26, 2020 |

At this point it feels safe to say that the 2020 holiday season will be unlike any other in our lifetimes. And while in-person gatherings may not be possible, it doesn’t mean that you’re going to stop exchanging gifts. In fact, in the world of booze, it’s easier than ever to ship a bottle of…

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Review: La Adelita Tequila – Blanco and Reposado

By Christopher Null | November 16, 2020 |

La Adelita is a new brand of tequila that spans five expressions: blanco,  reposado, anejo, cristalino, and extra anejo, all hitting the market straight out of the gate. The brand lays claim to being a “single estate” spirit, but it’s hard to read the name of said estate on the label. Rancho el Fraile, from…

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The Top 10 Tequilas and Mezcals of 2020

By Christopher Null | November 12, 2020 |

With celebrities ranging from Dwayne Johnson to Michael Jordan to Bryan Cranston all getting in on the tequila and mezcal game, you’d think a mass migration from Hollywood to Mexico was underway. Nope, turns out that’s just where the money is. After George Clooney and pals got $1 billion for their sale of Casamigos a…

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Review: Expresiones del Corazon Barrel-Aged Tequila William Larue Weller Anejo 2020

By Christopher Null | November 8, 2020 |

This long-running collaboration between Corazon Tequila and Buffalo Trace — in which Corazon’s single-estate tequila is aged in a variety of Buffalo Trace whiskey casks — is always worth sampling. This year finds Buffalo Trace dropping three expressions, all anejos aged variously in William Larue Weller, Thomas H. Handy Sazerac, and George T. Stagg barrels. We…

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